More than $728 million is on the way to communities around the nation to bolster intermodal freight infrastructure. The money is coming through the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has selected 37 projects to be given funds made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) Mega Program and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program. Multiple members of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) were the recipients of the funds. The Mega Program, also known as the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, funds large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility or safety benefits. Congress established the program in 2021 through the BIL and dedicated $5 billion to the program over a five-year period. The most recent awards were the second round of funding, worth roughly $2 billion.

As more consumers shop online and send back more of those orders, retailers have moved to crack down on fraud. In some cases, shoppers can send back different items than the ones they bought, return stolen items or claim a purchase never got delivered when it really did. Retailers estimate 13.7 percent of returns, or $101 billion worth, were fraudulent last year, according to a survey by Appriss Retail and the National Retail Federation. The share of returns expected to be fraudulent during the peak holiday season was even higher at 16.5 percent, or $24.5 billion worth, the survey found.

The big three US airlines saw their cargo revenues decline last year as rates and volumes came under pressure. United Airlines – the largest of the three in terms of cargo volumes – registered a 31.1 percent year-on-year decline in cargo revenues in 2023 to $1.5bn. At American Airlines there was a 34.1 percent fall for the year to $812m and at Delta Air Lines the decline was 31% to $713m. The fall came as airfreight rates were under pressure last year due to flat demand and increasing capacity as networks were re-established following the Covid pandemic. However, cargo revenue performance across all three airlines improved as the year progressed. In the fourth quarter, United saw its revenues decline by the lesser amount of 14.8 percent, at American there was a 24.2% fall and at Delta the Q4 decline was 24 percent. Meanwhile, volumes for the year at American were also down. The Dallas Forth Worth-headquartered airline registered a 6.7 percent year-on-year decline in cargo ton miles to 1.8bn, although this metric increased by 9.5 percent in the final quarter of the year.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Groundhog Day by Em Beihold.

The post This Week in Logistics News (January 27 – February 2) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.